Translating our Ethos into the Workplace

An ethos is the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding principles that inspire what we do. At GAIA Insights, we have strong beliefs and convictions that influence how we design our leadership programs and how we show up:

Everybody is a unique leader in their own right.

We want everyone to become the best version of themselves. We do not aim to mold people into a certain shape – instead we celebrate uniqueness and diversity. In the workplace that translates into being curious and open-minded about other people and adopting the mindset that everyone has something to contribute, regardless of their formal role or position in the organization. Let’s find out what our innate qualities are, play to our individual strengths and appreciate that we collectively complement each other. That doesn’t mean that we cannot learn and grow but we do that while remaining authentic instead of pretending to be someone else. Remember, there is one thing that nobody in the world can do better than you and that is being yourself.

Separation is an illusion.

We see connectedness everywhere. We are connected to nature and to each other because we only have one planet to call home. We think integration and we develop holistically – the leader and the person – because we believe that you cannot separate the human from the professional. In the workplace that translates into shifting our mentality from a linear, singular worldview to a pluralistic, systemic perspective. Whether it is about our organization, the people we work with, processes and resources, or whether it is about our supply chain, our customer base or how we impact the ecosystem in which we operate. Systemic connections are everywhere, and we must not underestimate the ripple effects we can cause.

Disruption is the new normal.

We expose participants to many different perspectives and unexpected scenarios, so they can flex their ambiguity muscle and embrace leadership in a world that is volatile, uncertain and complex. We take agile leadership to the next level. In the workplace that translates into learning to deal with the unknown. Leaders need to move from managing change to taking people along the change. Because change will happen regardless of whether we “manage” it or not. More often than not, change is unexpected, imposed on us and far too disruptive to even be manageable. Therefore, one of the most important qualities we can hone is to be able to remain calm and composed, in other words resilient, and inspire others to feel safe, encouraged and empowered even at times of turmoil.

Human trumps digital.

We believe that creativity, empathy and collaboration are key qualities for leaders to succeed in the future. Skills and knowledge can and will be taken over by digital systems – but no AI can replace the human factor of leadership. In the workplace that translates into human-centric leadership. While all eyes (and headlines) are on AI, automation and technological advances, as leaders we must not forget that at the end of the day, unless we are surrounded by robots, we are still dealing with people. And people are responding to and resonating with feelings, heart-to-heart connection and interpersonal energy. Interacting with each other requires emotional intelligence, compassion and candid conversations.

Participants first. Always.

We take decisions based on what’s best for participants, not for our wallet. We provide personalized guidance for each participant, pushing them gently out of their individual comfort zone. We pour our hearts into it because we truly care. In the workplace that translates into doing what’s right versus doing what’s easy. It means telling the (hard) truths. It means making choices based on a moral compass, not based on the bottom line. All of this takes courage. At GAIA Insights, we call it “tough love”. Sometimes being tough is what is needed, for example to give honest feedback. But if you truly care for someone and that toughness is delivered with love, it will serve the greater good.

Authored by Martina Mangelsdorf, Chief Strategic Dreamer at GAIA Insights.